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People with disabilities suffer higher unemployment rate

While the Americans with Disabilities Act generally prohibits discrimination based on disability and ensures that employers provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, the Act does not ensure full-employment for those with disabilities. While unemployment remains a deep-seeded problem for many, particular groups of people have been disproportionately affected by the slow-growth recovery. One such group is people with disabilities.

According to the American Association of People with Disabilities the unemployment rate among people with disabilities remains much higher than the overall unemployment rate, and representatives from the organization believe steps should be made to remedy employment problems central to the disabled. The general unemployment rate decreased slightly last month, but the unemployment rate for people with disabilities and has increased over 2010. The current unemployment rate for people with disabilities is around 16.8 percent. During July 2010, the unemployment rate was 16.4 percent.

Just like other workers suffering from unemployment, workers with disabilities are feeling the stresses of being out of a job. The American Association of People with Disabilities is advocating for employers to hire people with disabilities and is encouraging the private and public sector to set employment targets. Said the Board Chair of the organization, "We need to open the doors of freedom through competitive employment to all people."

According to the Department of Labor, there were 919,000 unemployed people with disabilities during July 2010. This year there were over 970,000 unemployed people with disabilities as of July. The AAPD wants employers to know that people with disabilities are "ready, willing and able to work."

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "People with disabilities remain unemployed at higher rate than other Americans," Aug. 5, 2011

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